What is minimally invasive endoscopic neurosurgery?

Revolutionary technology has today made it possible for even complex brain surgeries to be carried out in a minimally invasive manner. In the past open surgery was the norm for carrying out brain related procedures. Typically, in order to remove a 3 cm tumour, the surgeon would make a 10 cm incision.

The development of the neuro endoscope has changed the way brain surgeries can be done. The neuro endoscope uses a video camera and micro-surgical instruments mounted on the tip of a flexible tube which can be maneouvred through complex body and brain anatomy. The endoscope can be as small as 2.7 mm, and the skin incision can be tiny - as small as that of a small coin.

The video camera provides the brain surgeon with an absolutely clear and well lit image of the inside of the brain on a magnified screen. The result is that the neurosurgeon is able to visualise brain tissue extremely clearly and is able to distinguish between normal tissue and abnormal or cancerous tissue. This enables the complete removal of abnormal tissue and the sparing of healthy tissue, leading to preservation of brain function and minimisation of collateral damage during brain surgery in India.


Which are the brain surgeries that are being done using endoscopic neurosurgery?

Advances in neuroendoscopic surgery have today made it possible to perform several brain surgeries in India in a minimally invasive manner:

Procedures related to Hydrocephalus:


How is minimally invasive endoscopic neurosurgery done in India?

The method of endoscopic neurosurgery varies widely with the nature of the problem and the location of the target area. In some cases tiny incisions are needed whereas for some approaches there is absolutely no incision needed.

In the case of a pituitary tumour, for example, the endoscopic approach is through a nostril, hence no cut or incision is needed. The neurosurgeon uses a tiny endoscope, only 2.7 mm wide and 20 cm long. The endoscope is maneouvred into the skull base area and provides dramatic, close up images. The resolution of these images is truly sharp and enables the neurosurgeon to make very accurate decisions in terms of affected vs. healthy tissue. These images are truly a generation ahead of the traditional imaging that was possible through microscopes which permitted only external viewing from a distance with its attendant limitations. Micro-surgical instruments inserted through the same nostril are then used to excise the affected tissue. The magnified imagery makes it possible to remove all the affected tissue that is visualised.


What are the advantages of endoscopic brain surgery in India compared to open brain surgery?

As observed above, some neuroendoscopic surgeries do not require any incisions at all. Even in those cases where incisions are required, these are normally the size of a small coin. As compared to this, open brain surgeries involve long incisions and deep cuts in the body tissue. The consequent trauma can quite often result in complications by way of infections, loss of brain function, etc. All these difficulties are eliminated by the use of neuroendoscopic surgery.

In view of the minimal tissue damage caused by neuroendoscopic surgery in India, it is now also possible to offer treatment to several patients who may earlier have been ruled unfit for open brain surgery on account of age or other medical conditions.

Neuroendoscopic surgery in India also brings down dramatically the duration of hospital stay required by patients. Most patients are able to leave the hospital within a day or two after the surgery. Along with attendant reductions in cost, this also minimises the chances of patients acquiring hospital-stay related infections.


Do hospitals in India perform endoscopic neurosurgeries?

Our associate hospitals in India do perform a wide range of endoscopic neurosurgeries. These hospitals are equipped with the latest in terms of diagnostic equipment, such as Brain Suite as well the latest neuro endoscopic surgery equipment.

There are several neurosurgeons in India who have specifically trained abroad in the latest neuro endoscopic surgery techniques and have performed a large number of procedures both in the West and in India.